fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "calvary greetings" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Sra. Cathy olivia." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Sra. Cathy olivia." <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Oct 2015 04:37:33 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Writing from Hospital
Writing from Hospital
PLEASE ENDEAVOUR TO USE IT FOR THE CHILDREN OF GOD
DEAREST IN THE LORD,
I am Mrs Cathy Olivia undergoing medical treatment in hospital. Recently, My Doctor told me that I may not last for the next seven months due to cancer problem, though what disturbs me most is my stroke and deaf problem. Haven known my condition i decided to Serve God with our wealth.I'm a widow and a servant of the Lord for the past 38 years
When my late husband was alive we kept the sum of ($4.6 Million U.S. Dollars)
I have decided to Give out this fund to a church or an individual or better still a God fearing person who will utilize this fund the way I am going to instruct here in.I want an individual that will use this fund to provide succor to the poor, an indigent persons to help orphanages, widows around him or her and Schools etc.
Hope to receive your reply soon.
Thanks and Remain Blessed.
Mrs Cathy Olivia.